Café du Cycliste Yolande Merino jersey review

Billed as premium winter kit, the Café du Cycliste Yolande jersey is a smart looking piece, but is it a case of form over function?

(Image credit: chris catchpole)
Cycling Weekly Verdict

Café du Cycliste's Yolande jersey is a smart-looking winter jersey that manages to be functional despite an emphasis on design. However, the fit is not ideal, being too baggy across the front and on the arms.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Warm Merino fabric

  • +

    Two zipped pockets

  • +

    Three large rear pockets

  • +

    Pump sleeve in the middle rear pocket

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Too baggy despite testing a size small

  • -

    Wind can creep in the crux of the elbow

  • -

    Thumb loops and elbow patches won't be to everyone's tastes

You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

Café du Cycliste's Yolande jersey is a hefty bit of kit, built for cold rides. It's equipped with a heavier than usual yarn to keep you warm when the temperature drops.

Style is the most noticeable aspect of the Yolande jersey: it's seriously chunky with some distinctive design elements, including elbow patches and shoulder pads.

It's thick-cut, which means it's warm but a little difficult to pair with your wardrobe. On cold days you could get away wearing it under a heavy winter jacket but it'd be seriously warm.

(Image credit: chris catchpole)

It's perhaps best kept for cool dry days, which is what Café du Cycliste suggests. They believe it's suitable for riding from autumn to spring when it can be paired with a gilet, meaning you can add a second layer and not forgo mobility.

>>> Café du Cycliste Martine bib-tights

Some might argue it's overdesigned for a jersey, and the added material on the shoulders gives the impression of shoulder pads which won't be to everyone's taste.

In reality I found they didn't really serve much of a purpose, perhaps making it a little more comfortable to ride with a rucksack on morning commutes.

Likewise, the elbow patches won't be to everyone's tastes, nor will the thumb loops and extended fabric on the arms.

>>> Cycling gilets: a buyer's guide

Due to my own ailments, these were a source of discomfort for me from day one. Sadly, countless crashes mean my hands are prone to cramping when wearing thumb loops.

(Image credit: chris catchpole)

It terms of technical performance, it's an admirable performer.

Thanks to the Merino fabric, the Yolande jersey is nicely insulating and will keep you warm when on the bike. You also won't chill too much when you're having a coffee break mid-ride.

>>> Café du Cycliste Cosette Ceramic base layer

The Merino fabric also means it never gets stinky. This is both great for you as it cuts down on washing as well as for your mates, who don't have to smell you on a Sunday morning.

It could be a little more protected in the crook of the arms where wind was able to creep through the fabric. However, this never caused discomfort.

Watch: Buyer's guide to spring and autumn clothing

The Yolande also comes with a nice long tail that gives great rear protection, as well as a reinforced front zip for keeping the wind out.

In fact, it's a standout jersey in the pocket department, coming equipped with two zipped pockets – one on the front and one on the rear.

>>> Spring cycling clothing: a buyer's guide (video)

Equally, I was overjoyed to see the inclusion of a pump sleeve in the middle rear pocket which held even less compact pumps in place.

(Image credit: chris catchpole)

However, despite testing my usual size small, I did struggle with the fit.

It's too loosely cut across the front, meaning the chest sags when leant over the bars. Similarly, it's baggy on the arms, without a tight enough fit for my liking.

I'm sure some of this is due to it's more casual styling, and it's definitely a jersey trying to have both function and form in one package. Despite this, there's definitely room to tweak the cut and slim it down.

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